Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects

#Green Building Principles in #KwaMashu Durban – #FIFA 2010 training venue

#Princess Magogo Stadium -KwaMashu Durban – FIFA 2010 training venue

Article by Dean Ramlal

The project was initiated by the Strategic Projects Unit, of the eThekwini Municipality of the City of Durban in 2007,when it called for request for design tender proposals for upgrade to existing training and sports stadiums within KwaMashu, Umlazi, and Cleremont Townships, which were earmarked as Training Venues for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

As part of the PMSA consortium, our team and Urban Architects were awarded the tender for the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, which was built from the design principles submitted in our proposal. Having previously worked with the eThekwini Municipality in developing the Urban Strategy and implementing the Infrastructure Upgrade for the Town Centre of KwaMashu, our design principles reinforced the vision of “Place Making “ for this area. The Urban Strategy included the construction of a Public Paved Walkway /Promenade with accessible ramps and stairs which replaced an existing footpath. This Walkway strategically connects pedestrians from the Taxi and Rail Interchange at the lower end of the Town Centre, through the new Park, Sports Precinct and Stadium at the higher level of the site and finally into the surrounding residential areas.


The stadium property shares its western boundary with several dwellings, which had over the years constructed walls and fences that encroached over the boundary. The boundary was realigned allocating the encroaching areas to the property owners at no cost, saving their walls and in some cases, their outbuildings.


The additions and alterations to the existing facility in a practical,simple application informed the following :

The original grandstand comprised of covered and open seating at a very shallow angle divided by a concourse. In order to accommodate two additional floors while maintaining the original roof height proved to be challenging. This was overcome by removing the three rows of pre-cast seating to get sufficient headroom for suites. Increasing the length of the grandstand compensated for the loss of seats. The lower level of seating was demolished and new pre-cast seating built with a sharper angle similar to that of the grandstand. This allowed the provision of a grassed athletic track, which could be upgraded to a tartan track in the future.

In order to meet the accommodation schedule requirements the length of the grandstand was increased from 55m to 110m,straddling the athletic track.

The grandstand comprises of three floors which incorporates the following functions:

  • Ground floor – change rooms, referees rooms, technical rooms, first aid rooms, doping rooms and public ablution facilities
  • First floor – Offices, VIP Ablutions, Stadium Management offices and staff facilities.
  • Second floor – Suites including Presidential Suite and Entertainment Suites, Venue operating centre and Media facilities.

After liaising with “MNET Supersport” the roof structure was strengthened to accommodate three television camera platforms. Camera platforms were previously set up on scaffolding in front of the grandstand obstructing the view and taking up seating space.The facility was now able to televise night games.


The offices were to accommodate Sports and Recreational Development of the City for coordination of sports development.


As the existing pitch had to be re-laid to conform to the alignment of the extended grandstand, the team upgraded the specification of the pitch to match that of the main stadium, ie Moses Mabhida. This pitch was to support the Moses Mabhida Stadium should there have been an issue with the main stadium’s field. Re-laying the pitch was closely monitored by the local councilors and very favorably commended by FIFA pitch inspectors and has become one of the best in the country due to its drainage system.


The project adheres to green principles from the conceptual stage, with the city environmental department contributing towards the implementation of green goals as follows:

100 000 litres of water a day, therefore two 100 000 litre water tanks were constructed, of which one is dedicated to the pitch. The drainage system is linked back to a pump, to reclaim between 50-60% of the water used to irrigate the pitch, as well as recycling of the dissolved nutrients. The pitch also serves as a large collector for rainwater.

The grandstand is fitted with water saving and energy efficient fittings.

Water heaters that require a quarter of the energy are included in the shower areas below. The “waste” by-product of this heating process is cold air, which is ducted into the change rooms providing ventilation

Four masts supporting floodlights were installed with the total lux level of 1200 capability wired, with four levels of switching: Practice (200 lux), Non televised (600 lux) national (1000 lux) and international (1200 lux). At present, lamps have been fitted to achieve lux levels of 1000. The light system is controlled by smart software that controls the lights at the lower lux levels to ensure even distributed usage of lamps, in order to minimize the replacement of lamps.

Suites and offices are divided by partitions, allowing ease of removal and re-use of spaces should this be required in future.

The external façades are built from local clay face brick and off-shutter precast concrete materials that require minimal maintenance and relatively inert.


The Princess Magogo Stadium has been very well received and has hosted numerous matches since its revamp. The Stadium has added a special Identity of Place in KwaMashu and has connected well into the national circuit in sport and recreation.

Feedback from the eThekwini Municipality has been especially pleasing as they have on many occasions commended the development for its practical solutions,innovative change to an existing structure ,low maintenance of the facility and are very proud of having one of the best soccer pitches in the country.



Client eThekwini Municipality – Special Projects Unit  Dave Renwick

Principal Agent –  PMSA Michael Dlamini

Architects – Choromanski Architects / Urban Architects Rod Choromanski / Marcel Henry

Landscape Architect – Urban Architects Marcel Henry

Quantity Surveyor – BTKM / E-QS Ian Furter / Seeni Moodley

Structural Engineer – Linda Ness and Associates Linda Ness

Civil Engineer –  ZAI Lawrence Fraser

Electrical Engineer – BFBA Wally Doidge

Mechanical Engineer – ADX Projects Ayanda Xintolo

Economic Development –  Graham Muller Associates Graham Muller

Environmental – WSP Group Carla Elliot

Traffic – Delca Richard Palkowski

Audio Specialist- BA Sound Studio Work Shop 

KwaMashu Town Centre. Choromanski Architects
KwaMashu Town Centre. Identifying Important Nodes Within KwaMashu CBD and Surrounding Area
KwaMashu Town Centre. Choromanski Architects
KwaMashu Town CentrePublic Paved Walkway/Promenade
Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects
concession area
Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects
entrance into grandstand
Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects
offices & suites
Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects
new extension and identity to existing structure

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